portrait of fabric designer serena dugan

Wallpaper and Fabric Designer Serena Dugan Says Her "Traveler's Spirit" Informs Every Aspect of Her Life

Here, the painter, designer, and mother of two shares a few of her favorite things.
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The world really is Serena Dugan's oyster. A globe-trotter who studied psychology, art, and textile design, she collects pearls of inspiration (fabric swatches, art books) and mental snapshots (a palm leaf in Brazil, a Luis Barragán building in Mexico City) everywhere she goes. "I store them in my memory bank and draw from it for my work," she says of the colorful, graphic wallpapers and fabrics in her eponymous line.

Serena's Top Picks

Five years ago, Dugan stepped away from Serena & Lily, the brand she cofounded 13 years prior and helped grow from a baby-nursery catalog to an upscale home marketplace. Her plan was to paint full-time (she sells her canvases at galleries and on her website), "but I realized I still had a million other ideas I wanted to express," she says. Now, the mom of two starts most days sketching in her studio, dressed in a shirt, comfy jeans, and a good-luck charm or two in the form of jewelry from her grandmother. "They're wearable totems," she says. "I like to fill my home and closet with meaningful items." Dugan's patterns are infused with what she calls the "traveler's spirit," noting, "We are at our freest when we are exploring and seeing new things. I want to capture that feeling in my prints."

Frank & Eileen Barry Featherweight Button-Up in Shirting Blue
Credit: Courtesy of Frank & Eileen

Button Up

"It's well-made and lets me move when I'm working."

Shop Now: Frank & Eileen Barry Featherweight Button-Up in Shirting Blue, $218, frankandeileen.com.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic Sunglasses
Credit: Courtesy of Ray-Ban


"They're versatile and won't ever go out of fashion."

Shop Now: Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic Sunglasses, $163, ray-ban.com.

Serena Dugan Studio Fabrics
Credit: Courtesy of Serena Dugan Studio


"Fenn [left] is soft and modern. Capretto feels vintage."

Shop Now: Serena Dugan Studio Fabrics, $178 a yard, serenadugan.com.

Belles of Ireland flowers

Belles of Ireland

A favorite, along with peonies: "This plant is the most hopeful shade of spring green."

Hendrick's Gin bottle
Credit: Courtesy of Hendrick's Gin


"It's the right balance of floral and crisp. I drink it with tonic and extra lime."

Shop Now: Hendrick's Gin, $35, totalwine.com.

Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry
Credit: Courtesy of Dior

Lip Balm

"Moisturizing with just a hint of color."

Shop Now: Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry, $35, sephora.com.

Mother The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans in Au Revoir
Credit: Courtesy of Mother The Hustler


"They fit well and look good. I feel tucked-in."

Shop Now: Mother The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans in Au Revoir, $238, shopbop.com.

Lust for Life by Irving Stone
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Lust for Life

"This moving biography speaks to the passion of an artist; it's transformative."

Shop Now: Lust for Life by Irving Stone, $18.59, amazon.com.

Uashmama Giulia Bag in Petrolio
Credit: Courtesy of Uashmama

Take-Everywhere Tote

"It fits everything and is not precious. I can throw it around."

Shop Now: Uashmama Giulia Bag in Petrolio, from $139, us.uashmama.com.

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum
Credit: Courtesy of Vintner's Daughter


"My skin's nutrients: I use a little in the morning and at night."

Shop Now: Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $195, nordstrom.com.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
Credit: Courtesy of Neutrogena

Hand Cream

"I learned about this from my mom. It's better than anything else on the market."

Shop Now: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, $5.49, bedbathandbeyond.com.

No.6 5-Inch Pull-On Shearling Clog Boots on Mid-Heel in Brown Aviator
Credit: Courtesy of No.6

Shearling Clog Boots

"I love slipping into shearling; these are super-comfortable."

Shop Now: No.6 5-Inch Pull-On Shearling Clog Boots on Mid-Heel in Brown Aviator, $390, no6store.com.

Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Dijon Mustard

"I use it all the time, in sandwiches, salad dressing, and lentils. It's not too spicy."

Shop Now: Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, $4.38, walmart.com.

Drybar Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush
Credit: Courtesy of Drybar

Blow-Dryer Brush

"I never take time for a blowout, but this makes me look like I've been to the salon."

Shop Now: Drybar Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush, $150, sephora.com.

Amma's Rose Oil Roll-On
Credit: Courtesy of Amma's

Rose Oil

"It's an intoxicating mix of sandalwood and rose."

Shop Now: Amma's Rose Oil Roll-On, from $20, theammashop.org.

OPI Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath
Credit: Courtesy of OPI

Neutral Nail Polish

"I alternate between this color and red-orange Essie Clambake."

Shop Now: OPI Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath, $10.79, ulta.com.

Reed & Barton Diadem Sterling Flatware, price dependent on quantity
Credit: Courtesy of Reed & Barton

Sterling Flatware

"It was my mom's wedding silver, and I use it every day. I promised her I'd polish it."

Shop Now: Reed & Barton Diadem Sterling Flatware, price dependent on quantity, replacements.com.

Vitamix A2500 blender
Credit: Courtesy of Vitamix


"I make a morning smoothie with mango, spinach, banana, and protein powder."

Shop Now: Vitamix A2500, $549.95, williams-sonoma.com.